New Orleans, NOLA, N’awlins – this is one of my favorite cities in the US! I spent three and a half days eating, shopping, and biking through this beautiful, historic city to present you with the ultimate guide to New Orleans.
French Quarter, Garden District, Magazine Street, and Warehouse District are all pretty close to each other so we rented bicycles from The American Bicycle Rental Company, a locally own bicycle company. Biking through New Orleans was definitely the best way (and convenient!) to see the city.
New Orleans Best Restaurants FOR BREAKFAST
Café Du Monde
Yes, it may be touristy but it’s an essential stop in New Orleans. And no, it’s not overrated. Café Du Monde has been open since 1862 as the original French Market coffee stand. The Decatur St. location serves cafe au lait and beignets 24 hours daily.
*Multiple locations, cafedumonde.com
Our first official stop after dropping off our bags at the W French Quarter. Unfortunately, our first batch of beignets were under-fried and soggy but we came back on our last day to give them another chance and the beignets were crispy and warm! Pro tip: Ask for a fresh, hot batch.
334 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, cafebeignet.com
Willa Jean Bakery
Retro-chic café opened by Chef John Besh, Chef Kelly Fields and Chef Lisa White in the Central Business District. Come for the desserts, breads, and pastries, and stay for the tartines and sandwiches.
611 O’Keefe Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113, willajean.com
This airy, sun-filled cafe is located right on Jackson Square with elevated, and modern Louisiana care with all-day breakfast. Order the snowball – you can take the cup to-go and it transforms into a megaphone!
547 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70116, stanleyrestaurant.com
Nestled in tree-lined Garden District, Commander’s Palace has been a New Orleans landmark since 1880. Known for the award-winning quality of its food and its convivial atmosphere, the history of this famous restaurant offers a glimpse into New Orleans’ storied past and has been the go-to destination for Haute Creole cuisine and whimsical Louisiana charm. P.S. 25-cent martinis Monday through Friday!
1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130, commanderspalace.com
Opened by one of New Orleans’ preeminent chefs, Chef Link’s Cochon Butcher is a tribute to Old World butcher and charcuterie shops. The butcher shop also serves a bar menu, sandwiches, wine and creative cocktails. We loved the le pig mac, hot boudin, old roast beef, and marinated Brussels sprouts.
930 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans, LA 70130, cochonbutcher.com
Parkway Bakery & Tavern
When you see locals lined up waiting for Parkway to open it’s doors, you know it’s good. They only serve fried oyster poor boys on Monday and Wednesday.
538 Hagan Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, parkwaypoorboys.com
New Orleans Best Restaurants FOR DINNER
Pêche Seafood Grill
With two coveted James Beard Foundation Awards as Best New Restaurant and Chef Ryan Prewitt as Best Chef South, Pêche is no ordinary seafood grill. The oysters were plump and fresh, and the whole grilled fish was the best fish I’ve ever had! We devoured it in 30 minutes, and I would fly back to New Orleans just to eat the fish at Pêche.
800 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, pecherestaurant.com
Chef Martha Wiggins sources the best ingredients from southern United States to give you the ultimate meal. We loved our intimate, and romantic meal in their secret back garden. I loved the buffalo veal sweetbreads, crispy Shitake mushroom bruschetta (so simple but oh-my-god so good), champagne and french fries, daily fish, and chocolate pot de creme. For that, Sylvain goes down in my book of most memorial dining experiences.
625 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, sylvainnola.com
Founded in 1905 by Jean Galatoire, this infamous address distinguished itself on Bourbon St. from its humble beginning. Galatoire’s does not take reservations so there might be a wait at the door but it’s well worth it.
209 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70130, galatoires.com
Bevi Seafood Co.
Bevi Seafood Co. is a neighborhood seafood market and restaurant steeped in the traditions of New Orleans’ seasons: Crawfish, Crab, Shrimp, and Oysters.
4701 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70001, beviseafoodco.com
When you come to New Orleans, you have to have charbroiled oysters and Drago’s is one of the top spots. Pro tip: Drago’s original restaurant in the Metairie is the best.
2 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130, dragosrestaurant.com
New Orleans Best Restaurants FOR DESSERT
Salon by Sucre
Located in the heart of the French Quarter in a casual, French mid-century modern dining room, Salon by Sucré blends the time-honored formality of New Orleans service with the exquisite cuisine of Tariq Hanna in a casual French mid-century modern dining room. Order the afternoon service on the patio overlooking the French Quarter!
622 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130, shopsucre.com
The best donuts I’ve ever had. Pillows of sweet goodness from the heavens. I’d say try every flavor because we almost did. We were here for three hours. THREE HOURS. Who spends three hours at a donut shop?! Taylor had to practically drag me out of here.
2209 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130, donutsandsliders.com
New Orleans Best Restaurants FOR DRINKS
Home of the famed hurricane cocktail plus Creole fare & outdoor dining in an oasis-like courtyard. You can even take the cocktail to-go with the Pat O’Briens souvenir cup.
718 St Peter St, New Orleans, LA 70116, patobriens.com
The Napoleon House offers one of the most unique and elegant settings anywhere for parties and receptions. The property is rated among the highest historically significant locations in New Orleans, and is on the National Register of historic buildings. Napoleon House is the top seller for Pimm’s No 1 in the country, and the second top seller in the world!
500 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, napoleonhouse.com
Sample the world’s first mixed drink at the Sazerac Bar. Named after what many consider to be the world’s first mixed drink, The Sazerac Bar carries as much history as its potable namesake. Just gazing at the famous Paul Ninas murals flanking the African walnut bar takes you back to the grandeur of old New Orleans – a time when Huey P. Long would stroll in, order a Ramos Gin Fizz, and spend the next couple of hours talking to his constituents.
45 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017, theroosevelthotel.com
Where To Shop in New Orleans
A visit to New Orleans isn’t complete without a colored wig and the best place is Fifi Mahony’s. Feel free to try on all the wigs on the shop, or opt for a custom creation.
934 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116
Krewe du Optic
New Orleans-based and culturally inspired independent eyewear label is beloved by locals, New Yorkers and even Beyoncé. Drop in and try on a couple of shades!
809 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116, kreweduoptic.com
You’ll swoon at Hattie Spark’s carefully curated collection of local, independent, and electric brands.
939 Girod St #140, New Orleans, LA 70113, hattiesparks.com
New Orleans Museum of Art
The New Orleans Museum of Art (or NOMA) is the oldest fine arts museum in the city of New Orleans. It is situated within City Park, a short distance from the intersection of Carrollton Avenue and Esplanade Avenue, and near the terminus of the “Canal Street – City Park” streetcar line. The sculpture garden next to the museum is also a great find, and is very photographable!
1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124, noma.org
Where to Stay in New Orleans
W New Orleans French Quarter
For those wanting a swanky boutique experience with a balcony view of the French Quarter, book a stay at the W Hotel. The hotel is conveniently located right around the corner from Sucre! Looking to splurge? Book the studio suite featuring a private balcony and personal hot tub.
316 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, wfrenchquarter.com
Hotel Le Marais
Located half a block from Bourbon Street, Hotel Le Marais is perfect for those who are planning to party and drink. The chic hotel also has the comfiest beds and pillows that we slept on during our trip! Hotel Le Marais has been voted the #2 hotel in New Orleans in the Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Survey.
717 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70130, hotellemarais.com
Maison Dupuy Hotel
If you’re lucky enough to spend the weekend (or longer!) in New Orleans but on a budget, Maison Dupuy is both affordable and in convenient walking distance of Bourbon Street.
1001 Toulouse St, New Orleans, LA 70112, maisondupuy.com